minute thoughts 11.12.18

“Tony—thank you for your humanity”

“Tony—thank you for your humanity”

Thoughts while making a PowerPoint in protest of girls’ clothing manufacturers

1. Do hippies truly exist today? I feel like the contemporary definition of “hippie” is someone who’s really into the mystique, like astrology or healing crystals or Wicca. But the word hippie was very specific to the ‘60s, and it meant someone that subscribed to counterculture, and I’d argue that all countercultural traits of hippies—long hair, affinity for the earth, culture of “chill”—are now sufficiently mainstream.

2. I found this newsletter called Girls’ Night In a while ago, and it’s one of my favorite newsletters on Fridays, full of good longreads, self-care tips, beauty product recommendations, and book discussions. One of the newsletters linked an analysis of pockets from ThePudding, which combines two of my favorite things—data visualizations and complaining about the lack of pockets.

Edit: Only tangentially related, but this visualization of city commutes as coral is mesmerizing.

3. I absolutely adore the fact that shelters name their kittens as groups, like after foods or seeds or the founders of an ice cream company. So cute.

4. My uncle sent me this wonderfully useful interactive piece from The New York Times called “Life after college is weird. This can help.” It’s basically Adulting 101, and it’s perfect for people that have recently graduated or know nothing about investing (me). The internet is full of so many great resources, but I’m shocked at how little guidance it provides for basic life skills. The New York Times is smart in making a significant effort to refocus its digital subsidiary to cater to new generations (AKA millennials), and this piece is kind of like “Dear Abby” and “Hints from Heloise” for the Googling age.

5. I just started watching Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown at the recommendation of...well, pretty much everyone. I’d watched an episode years ago, but I don’t think I fully appreciated Anthony Bourdain until now, after so many people said so many good things about him. It’s just a shame that it had to be after his death. The world needs more people that travel like him, people who respect other cultures and are genuinely invested in learning and appreciating the world around them. But I also like that he didn’t limit exploration to expensive restaurants that only the wealthy can afford or countries that you needed to travel halfway around the world for. A lot of what he loved was just walking around and taking the time to notice things. And I think that’s something we can all apply to our everyday lives, whether it’s finding the hole-in-the-walls in your own neighborhood or the coffeeshop tucked away near your workplace or the diner that’s locals only. It’s so strange to watch him and see him so full of light and life, and to know that he was simultaneously struggling with so many personal demons. It’s sad that these things often manifest in perverse ways like that. Rest in peace, Anthony Bourdain. The world needed you more than you knew.

Edit: An intriguing piece about my latest obsession, Salt Fat Acid Heat and the “food TV renaissance.”

6. There’s a really popular show called “Hot Ones” on YouTube that my college boyfriend got me into. For those of you that don’t know, the premise is that this guy named Sean Evans interviews celebrities over a course of ten chicken wings with sauces that get progressively hotter as they go down the line. It’s wildly entertaining, especially if you like the celebrities (Chrissy Teigen’s was my favorite). But aside from the entertainment factor, one thing that I think is extremely underrated is Sean Evans’ interview skills. Being a good interviewer and asking good, provocative questions is hard. If you watch late night talk shows, you’ll notice that most of the hosts aren’t actually good interviewers; they’re just very charismatic. But you can tell this guy has done his research by how thoughtful his questions are and how much he knows about his guests’ lives. Celebrity journalism (if you can even call it journalism) is notoriously trash, especially that involving female celebrities, but if there were a right way to do it, this is it.

7. I mentioned to my mom that I've been perpetually tired for the majority of my adult life, since I’ve never really been a nap person, and she told me that I didn't even nap as a child. Apparently my mom would just leave me in my crib when she needed a break from me and I would just talk to myself until I got bored, and then an hour later I'd yell for her to come get me. So I've essentially been accumulating sleep debt since like 1995. No wonder I don't go out much.

8. Lululemon just released a Royal Ballet-themed collection and I don’t even really wear Lululemon regularly but I...am so tempted.

9. This video essay on Mad Max: Fury Road is fantastic (part I, part II, part III, part IV, part V, part VI, part VII, part VIII) and I’m absolutely obsessed with it. It’s honestly the best analysis of this movie I’ve seen thus far, and I’ve read a lot of them. Mad Max: Fury Road is one of my favorite movies, particularly for the frighteningly prophetic mythology, but I was also fascinated by the gender roles in this movie, something that this video essay breaks down exceedingly well, with plenty of outside pop culture references as supportive evidence. There was a lot of criticism of this movie being unfeminist because the wives were scantily clad and because (spoilers) Furiosa is ultimately saved by Max’s sacrifice. But I think that completely ignores the fact that the wives have agency, and rather than existing as inherently sexual beings, they are sexualized by the male gaze of a tyrant. I also love the idea of video essays. I’m inspired. Stay tuned.

10. Something on my mind lately—why people cry. Almost all of my female friends agree that it’s very common to cry out of anger or frustration, something that is a revelation to every single one of the male friends I’ve asked. I don’t think it has to do with biology and I don’t think it’s as simple as socialization, because unlike crying out of pain or sadness, which is a reasonable thing to do regardless of age or gender, crying out of frustration is embarrassing. I feel like women are generally more emotionally articulate than men, so what is it about being so overwhelmed with emotions that makes us want to cry? If anyone has an actual answer to this, I’d love to know (I’ve found this but nothing that gender-specific other than some articles about women crying in the workplace, which is a symptom, not a cause).

Edit: Holy...I actually found it. A Quartz Obsessions on “Crying at Work,” explains that on average men cry 1.3 times per month and women cry 5.3 times per month: “...it’s basic biology: Testosterone inhibits crying, while prolactin, a hormone typically present in higher levels in women, seems to promote it.” It also cites an op-ed specifically about women crying out of frustration, which positions it as an emotional catharsis to help refocus: “A woman crying at work is not looking for pity. She's looking for justice. When she turns those tears into words and then actions, she's closer to making that happen. She's simply able to see more clearly.”

 

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